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Heard A Coworker's Voice In My Head


One of the phenomena I've heard of is that of "projection" or a living person's voice or essence being present when the person is not there. I had something similar to that happen.

One of my colleagues at work is an older Indian lady of Guyanese decent. Let's call her Mary. She speaks softly, performs her work very dutifully and seems to be spiritually in tune as many of her culture are according to stories.

Being the person in charge of the money she is very judgmental on all of our performances, especially when there is a lack of money coming in. She is the calm center of a very frenetic and sometimes legitimately "crazy" office filled with big personalities and outsized egoes, as many in the center of New York City are. She comes in every day with a Zen-like calm and always imparts wisdom in her soft voice.

A couple weeks ago I was staying in on a Friday after a stressful and disappointing week. Deals had fallen through, medicine had not been functioning as intended and money was wastefully spent in pursuits outside of work.

Naturally after a week like that, I had a very hard time sleeping. When I was about 3/4 of the way to dozing off, I heard my colleague Mary's voice saying my name. Clear as a bell. It was hard to determine if the voice was there in the room with me or just very clearly manifesting in my head.

Either way it was enough to make me sit up in bed. Of course there was no one actually there and I got very little sleep after a sensation like that. Has anyone ever had this feeling with a person who is alive and they see everyday? Just wondering how something like that can be possible.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, sherm784, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

Caz (342 posts)
6 years ago (2018-03-16)
Hi Sherm,
My sister once heard our mother's voice calling her name from over 400 miles away, but she wasn't the only one who heard it. She was staying with her fiancée (separate rooms) in his parent's house for a few days, when one night, just as she was getting ready to go to sleep but still wide awake, she heard my mother calling her name, not once, but twice. It was so clear and unmistakeably my mothers voice, that she got out of bed and went out into the hallway, only to meet her fiancée coming out of his room, because he'd heard it too. Then, as they stood there on the landing, they both heard it again, so it's doubtful both of them imagined it... Though I'm sure that could happen to some people. Good story. Thanks for sharing!
DirtCreature (guest)
6 years ago (2018-03-12)
I've had many different cases of hypnagogia when sleeping and it startles me awake but I can always tell that the noise is coming from inside my head vs sounding like a person actually talking to me or outside noise.
sherm784 (19 stories) (27 posts)
6 years ago (2018-03-12)
This is amazing feedback. Manafon1 I think you nailed it. I learn so much every time I post on here and it's an eye opening commentary section. Thanks again guys!
RedWolf (31 stories) (1292 posts)
6 years ago (2018-03-06)

I have heard my name being called when I'm half asleep and fully awake with everyone sleeping or not at home.
Every time I get a phone call about something happening or someone needing help.
Ex. One night I thought I heard my father in-law long deceased. I took a half of a sleeping pill at 4 A. M. My mother in-law called at 5:30 telling me she was in pain all night and needed to go to the hospital. Now I had been telling her all week to go to the doctor for her lower abdominal pain. I told her I was half asleep and needed to get dressed. I got to her house and called the ambulance. She told the doctor there that she knew I was awake until the wee hours of the morning but didn't want to bother me at 1 or 2. I told her yeah you had to wait until I had taken my meds and half of a sleeping pill and call an hour later. The doctor looked at me and saw I was miserable and told her the next time don't wait until I was getting much needed sleep because I looked more like a patient then her. LOL
I have Malamutes and the 1 female I have calls me mama all the time which if she is in another room I have to search her out and when I find her she is sound asleep.

loneybone (8 stories) (78 posts)
6 years ago (2018-03-05)
Hi there,
Thanks so much for sharing. I pretty much agree with everyone else. Even though I never heard of hypnogogic now that I remember it has happened to me once few months ago.
I was asleep but woke up between the hour of 2 or 3 am. And I was in the state of more asleep the awake but still awake trying to get back asleep when I clearly heard a women's voice call me loud and clear. Pamela! Really loud I was just in WTF! Was that, kind of shock but I wasn't really frightened and it's never happen after that.
Maryjosephmac (1 posts)
6 years ago (2018-03-05)
Yes this has happened to me, I heard myself calling my friend 'hey bro' and I thought it was just in mu head but mu friend came to me and said 'yes what happen? Did you call me?'
CuriousDee (8 stories) (631 posts)
6 years ago (2018-03-04)
Sherm784 - I was wondering if you felt comfortable enough to share this with Mary? I wonder if perhaps she had been thinking of you and you picked up on it somehow? Just a thought anyway.

It could also be what Manafon1 suggested; Hypnagogia. Here is a link with some info:

I've experienced it a few times and while strange, it's nothing to be frightened of. Thanks for sharing
Manafon1 (7 stories) (718 posts)
6 years ago (2018-03-04)
Hi sherm - You might have experienced a relatively commonly reported aspect of hypnogogia which occurs between wakefulness and sleep. During the hypnogogic phase, it is commonly reported that people hear their name called clearly. Also reported is the sound of a doorbell ringing and brief snippets of music.

Stress, which you reported having had quite a bit of that week, seems to increase the likelihood of hearing such hypnogogic sounds. There are many articles online dealing with this phenomenon.

Of course what you heard could have been paranormal but as you state that the voice you heard was that of a colleague at work, "who is very judgmental of our performances", it seems quite likely that you heard her voice in this hypnogogic state because work and this woman's scrutiny was on your mind.

Thanks for sharing your account.

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